The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked author Shobhaa De to respond to the breach of privilege notice issued by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly against her to clarify that her tweets on Marathi movies has “remotely nothing” to do with the conduct of the House.
A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant told the socialite-columnist to file her reply within a fortnight.
“To put the controversy at rest, we require the petitioner (De) to file a reply before the 1st Respondent (Maharashtra Assembly) stating that whatever she had stated has remotely nothing to do with the conduct of the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly.
“The said reply shall be filed within a fortnight hence. Needless to say, filing of such a reply is without prejudice to the contentions raised in the Writ Petition,” the bench said and posted the matter for next hearing on November 18.
The apex court further said, “We hope and trust that the competent authority would objectively appreciate the reply and may accept it.”
The court had earlier stayed the breach of privilege notice issued against De by Maharashtra Assembly Speaker for her tweets on the state government’s decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi movies during prime time.
The author had moved the apex court against the notice issued by the Assembly Speaker following a complaint against her by a Shiv Sena lawmaker alleging that her series of tweets insulted Marathi language and Marathi-speaking people.
The Principal Secretary of the state Assembly had issued a notice to De asking her to explain her tweets.
The notice was issued after Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik moved a breach of privilege motion in the House.
The columnist had tweeted, “Devendra ‘Diktatwala’ Fadnavis is at it again!!! From beef to movies. This is not the Maharashtra we all love! Nako!Nako! Yeh sab roko!”
De had tweeted that it was nothing but hooliganism. “I love Marathi movies. Let me decide when and where to watch them, Devendra Fadnavis. This is nothing but Dadagiri.”
Reacting to the tweet, Sarnaik had moved a breach of privilege motion against De for allegedly “insulting CM Devendra Fadnavis and sentiments of Marathi-speaking people.”